Summer 2007

Wilsey Heads $500 Million Drive for Mission Bay Complex

San Francisco's philanthropy powerhouse Diane "Dede" Wilsey has signed on to lead the $500 million fundraising effort for the construction of the UCSF Mission Bay children's, women's and cancer hospital complex, expected to break ground as early as 2011.

With an estimated total cost of $1.3 billion for the complex, a minimum of $500 million is needed from private philanthropy. Other sources of funding will include hospital reserves, external financing and state funding.

"I am thrilled to be involved in an effort to build what will surely be the most innovative medical facility in not only California, but far beyond," Wilsey said. "With premier programs and world-renowned experts in children's, women's and cancer care, this is the first major step for UCSF in a grand vision that will improve the delivery of health care in the Bay Area, California and the world."

The daughter of the late Wiley Buchanan — President Eisenhower's chief of protocol and one-time U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg and Austria — Wilsey is a prominent social figure in San Francisco. Over the years, she has dedicated herself to philanthropic causes and is now one of the nation's most sought-after fundraisers.

One of her most notable fundraising achievements occurred in 2005, when she was board president of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Wilsey raised more than $200 million from more than 7,000 private donors for the rebuilding of San Francisco's de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park.

Wilsey has served on other prestigious boards in the city, as well, including those of the San Francisco Opera and the San Francisco Ballet. She has also led capital fundraising campaigns for San Francisco's Grace Cathedral and the Immaculate Conception Academy.

Embarking upon the UCSF project, Wilsey brings her charismatic and ambitious personality to the table. At a meeting in March with UCSF Medical Center leaders, she asked them to "throw away existing ideas about a hospital and imagine your ideal situation."

To raise top dollars, Wilsey plans to seek donations from big-name San Francisco philanthropists and untapped donors in Silicon Valley.

"I could not have hoped for a more dynamic, dedicated and hardworking fundraiser than Dede Wilsey to lead our efforts," said UCSF Medical Center CEO Mark Laret. UCSF is already regarded as one of the best hospitals in the nation, and by building these new facilities, we will bring our services to an entirely new level.

"Building a new, world-class hospital, where caregivers can provide outstanding and inspired care to patients and their families, is essential to our mission. With Dede Wilsey's leadership, we can seize this rare moment to advance medical history for the Bay Area and the world."

Related Information

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